A BIG-HEARTED cyclist has been left devastated after his bike was stolen just days before a charity ride in aid of cancer sufferers.
Chris Moon has spent the past six months training for the 140-mile C2C Cycle Route, which will take place on Friday, to raise money for Cancer Research.
The event, which involves a 10-strong team aged between 22 and 63, will also help provide flat-screen TVs for a new day-care ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
But now Chris’s plans have been thrown into jeopardy after thieves broke into a shed at his home in Eden Vale on Wednesday night, and stole his mountain bike.
“I really don’t know what I’m going to do,” said the 34-year-old floor tiler.
“I’ve been preparing for this ride for a long time. I’ve been doing a lot of training.
“I’ve put so much work into it.
“All I can do is either hope it turns up, or I manage to get hold of another one before the ride.”
Dad-of-one Chris said the GT Aggressor XC3, which has distinctive tyres with reflective bands around their side walls, is worth up to £500.
“It couldn’t have really happened at a worse time,” he said.
“It doesn’t leave me long to find an alternative.
“I can’t claim on the insurance and I will struggle to get hold of the money it will cost me to buy a replacement.
“There is a real danger now that I will have to pull out of the event.
“It is such a shame. It meant a lot to me to take part.
“I’ve had relatives who have died from cancer, so it is a charity that is very close to my heart.”
The break-in was reported to Northumbria Police.
“It looks as if the thieves have broken into the shed while we’ve been asleep, and made off without us even knowing about it until the next day,” added Chris.
Anyone who can help Chris can call the Echo on 501 7264, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.